For Judd Apatow, the pandemic was a catalyst for making his satirical Netflix comedy “The Bubble.”
“I was promoting ‘The King of Staten Island'” – his 2020 film – “and I went from traveling the world to sitting in my office doing whatever everyone else was doing. I sat at home for months,” recalls Apatow, 54.
“Then I started taking really long walks on the beach and at some point I heard about all these bubbles. The ‘Mission: Impossible’ bubble, the ‘Jurassic’ bubble” – movies that stop but only temporarily.
“I thought that was a good premise for a movie: people having a nervous breakdown trying to make a flying dinosaur movie while living in a hotel in a bubble.”
Apatow toured England with a cast led by daughter Iris, 19, wife and dating star Leslie Mann, David Duchovny, Kate McKinnon and Keegan-Michael Key.
One joke was so unlike what actually happens, “It would be funny if the special effects were done. It was a dinosaur movie where everyone could see the dinosaurs.
It turned into “Would it be really funny if the scenes collapse and you suddenly reveal how shitty the set looks and all the green screens and motion capture avatars?”
But pandemic precautions remained vital.
“The design of the movie,” Apatow explained, “was built around how safe I could do it. Something where I could shoot all the dinosaur scenes on one scene, all the hotel scenes in one place. That way you can contain the production so that no one is in danger. And we had no cases during the entire filming.
Iris Apatow plays a giant social media star “forced to make a movie just because she had a huge amount of followers. Iris had some really strong ideas about how these people aren’t what you expect. A lot of them are very ambitious but they are also very emotional.It’s a very stressful world.
Much like TikTok, at times everyone is suddenly in a dance music video.
“We hired Ryan Heffington, who is this incredible choreographer who did the finale of ‘Euphoria.’
“He created these wild dances for us. Then I had to ask Iris and the whole cast to do them. They thought they would have a few sessions, but, he said with a laugh, it turned into a tremendous amount of really long dance lessons.
In addition to Friday’s “Bubble,” Apatow is releasing his book “Sicker in the Head” this week. “It’s more interviews with comedians that I did during the pandemic. I donate all the money to the 826LA charity, which provides free tutoring and literacy services to children nationwide.